PMA Family Fest: Fun For Everyone

September 27, 2013

by Tom Tollefson

Last Saturday, dozens of cars could be seen parallel parked along the side of the driveway leading to Presentation of Mary.  The overflow parking was a sure sign of Presentation of Mary’s 18th annual Family Fun Fest, sponsored by the school’s Parent Group.

“We’ve had a lot of parent and staff involvement from getting things set up to getting things organized.  This can’t happen without them,” Chris Thompson, Parent Group Chair, said.

All the traditional activities returned this year as always.  For the adults, there were raffles, a penny sale, craft sale, and a bake sale while the children enjoyed carnival games, bounce houses, face painting, pumpkin painting, and a petting zoo.

“This is great because we have something for everyone,” said Maurice Pilotte, a volunteer who manned a popcorn stand at the festival.

This year, several new activities were added as well.  One of the most popular among the children was the dunk tank.  PMA students lined for a chance to dunk their sixth grade math teacher Adam Shaw.

“It’s bitter sweet.  I do this for my students and the students to come,” Shaw said.

For a $1 a ball, students could take a throw at the switch that would release Shaw’s seat, sending him splashing into the cold water.  The dunk tank was donated by the Ostrowski and Carroll families.

“I love it because you get to throw a ball and dunk a fifth grade teacher,” said PMA fourth grader Antoinette Jacques.

Other popular addition to the day’s festivities included a magician act and a ventriloquist act.  Parent

Al Getler donated tents, chairs and hired a magician to do an act.  Getler is also a professional ventriloquist and gave a performance for all the children in attendance.

“I thought they (the activities) were wonderfully mapped out for the children.  So many kids have so many different interests and they gave them a good selection,” said Shelley Bice, an Amherst resident brought to town by the festival.

The traditional penny sale was still popular with the adults.  The sale featured opportunities to win games, toys, appliances, and many other popular Christmas wish list items.  Meanwhile, the raffle featured dozens of various themed baskets such as Nook HD, Patriots, Red Sox, and bath and body care.  All items for the penny sale, bake sale, and raffle were donated by parents.